Name: French marigold (Tagetes patula) and African, aka American, marigold (T. erecta)
Origin: Native to central Mexico and Central America
Where it will grow: As an annual in all USDA zones
Water requirements: Regular to moderate water
Light requirements: Full sun
Mature size: French marigold, 6 to 18 inches tall and wide; African marigold, 1 foot to 3 feet tall and 1 foot to 2 feet wide
Seasonal interest: Blooms through summer into fall; produces more blooms if deadheaded regularly
When to plant: Sow seeds or set out seedlings in spring when danger of frost is past; you can continue to sow seeds for French marigolds into the summer and set out both types of marigolds well into summer to extend the bloom through the fall.
How to use it. Use as an edging, a border or in drifts in flower beds. Incorporate into edible gardens to add color and repel whiteflies. They also work well planters and flower boxes.
African marigolds can handle hotter, drier conditions, so they’re a good choice in arid climates.
Deadhead African marigolds regularly to encourage repeat blooms. You also may need to stake them.
Marigolds are seldom bothered by pests, but if aphids or mites attack, spray them with water or an insecticidal soap for a few days.